Is urethral catheterization a successful alternative to suprapubic aspiration in neonates?

B J Austin, C Bollard, T R Gunn
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 1999, 35 (1): 34-6

OBJECTIVE: To compare urine collection by urethral catheterization with suprapubic aspiration in a neonatal intensive care unit.

METHODOLOGY: All urine collections were documented, the collection methods attempted recorded and success rates calculated. The incidence of contaminated specimens was determined. The infants ranged in weight from 570 g to 4180 g and in gestation from 24 to 44 weeks.

RESULTS: Thirty-two out of 65 (49%) suprapubic aspirations were successful. Overall 33/42 (77%) of catheterizations were successful, 12/18 (67%) were successful when following an unsuccessful SPA. No SPA was contaminated compared to 7/22 (22%) of the catheter specimens. Urinary tract infection was present in 4/63 (6.3%) infants. There were no complications following catheterization.

CONCLUSIONS: Urethral catheterization is a useful and safe alternative to suprapubic aspiration, but suprapubic aspiration remains the method of first choice.

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